Training tiny dogs

Due to Hong Kong’s size of accommodation, dogs here normally tend to be on the small size, with the more popular breeds being pomeranians, poodles, chihuahuas, corgis, etc. But do these smaller dogs need different (and in some cases special) treatment during training?

A Pomeranian once seemed quite small to me, but recent decades have seen a proliferation of smaller and smaller dogs – the so-called “teacup” breeds. At a local humane society “Bark In The Park” fund-raising event recently, a couple walked past my booth with a pair of tiny Yorkies in their arms. The male, the “larger” of the two, was three pounds at full maturity. The female was a mere two pounds. They made Scooter, my current Pomeranian, who tips the scales at a whopping 12 pounds, look quite massive by comparison!

Next, let’s define “training.” Owners of larger dogs are likely to understand training as encompassing everything including polite “good manners” behaviors in the house, coming when called, walking nicely on leash, and calmly greeting  new people and other dogs. But owners of small dogs might have no behavior expectations of their little companions beyond potty training – and maybe not even that! After all, jumping up is much easier to accept from a 5-pound dog than 50-pound one, so lots of little dog owners don’t bother to teach a polite greeting.

In my opinion, all dogs, even tiny ones, should be trained to exhibit all the same good manners behaviors as larger dogs, such as sitting politely to greet visitors, or asking permission for sofa privileges. For optimum quality of life and his relationship with you, it’s every bit as important for the little dog to be trained as the large one.

Read more at Whole Dog Journal

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